|SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION
The Cheez-It Bowl is moving from Arizona to Orlando with the brand signing on as the primary sponsor for what was once the Camping World Bowl. “Cheez-it is a go-to snacking tradition for football fans and cheese-lovers – especially those who can’t get enough of that uniquely cheesy and crunchy experience,” said Cheez-It senior director of marketing Jeff Delonis. “Our preceding bowl game sponsorship with the Fiesta Bowl Organization helped solidify Cheez-It as a staple in the college football postseason.”
The Lagardère Sports and Entertainment agency is hitting the reset button and will becme known as Sportfive in a company rebrand. The move comes following the takeover by H.I.G. Europe.
Ready Nutrition announced that professional basketball star Giannis Antetokounmpo made his first brand investment into the company, giving him an ownership stake and creative input at multiple levels of the company’s business, along with an exclusive endorsement and community role with the brand’s Ready Water and other sports nutrition products. He joins Founder and President, Pat Cavanaugh and professional football star Aaron Donald as a co-owner.
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH
Electronic Arts, the NFL and the NFL Players Association inked a multi-year renewal to their partnership, marking the biggest and widest-reaching gaming agreement in NFL history. Under the partnership, the EA SPORTS Madden NFL franchise will exclusively create authentic football simulation games, and EA SPORTS, the NFL and the NFLPA will partner to develop games in new genres, expanded esports programs, and additional experiences for fans across more platforms. The announcement states that esports will see increased competitive programs and broadcast content to reach and entertain more fans. “Building on the most successful year ever for Madden NFL, this is a powerful time for EA SPORTS to come together with the NFL and the NFLPA in this new wide-reaching partnership,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. “Together, we have a tremendous opportunity to entertain more players through new Madden NFL experiences, games in new genres and on new platforms, esports, and new innovations that will grow fans’ love of the NFL around the world.”
DraftKings Sportsbook announced it will offer live-streamed sports games within its award-winning mobile app, teaming with Sportradar. DraftKings Sportsbook customers who are logged in to their active accounts and have a wallet balance above $0.00 will have the ability to live stream games directly within the mobile app.
New data from Magid shows that 89% of sports viewers will watch live sports on TV if games take place without fans in the stands. The study noted that presentations must deliver extra value, with most viewers wanting entertaining live announcers in the broadcast, at 57% among MVPD users and 59% among vMVPD users.
Famer, the sports coaching and mentorship mobile platform, announced a landmark partnership with the National Basketball Players Association to allow professional players and elite trainers and coaches to create and share custom personal training videos and communicate with kids and their parents for free. Hosted on the NBPA Training Ground channel on Famer, the custom videos will feature drills and skill training as well as strength and conditioning workouts. The NBPA Training Ground will be presented by Spalding, and its initial launch will feature videos and training with NBPA members including Aaron Gordon, Andre Drummond and others as well as with NBA-level trainers such as Chris Matthews and Tim and Ross Burns.
Strat-O-Matic announced it will assist Marquee Sports Network, the broadcast home of the Chicago Cubs, in creating content for a series of Cubs-specific shows for 2020. The shows will use the data and simulations from iconic Cubs games of the past to re-imagine what an alternate result would have been, and Strat-O-Matic will also contribute to other projects designed to engage fans interest and debate. The first in a series of content in the partnership will be the Ultimate Cubs Lineup.
Twitch Rivals will serve up the first major Valorant tournament on June 2, which will be the day that the Riot game will be formally released to the public. Riot Games and Twitch will collaborate on the event with confirmed regions that will encompass North America, Brazil, LATAM, Europe, Korea and Japan.
DreamHack is buddying up with audio solutions brand DTS for a new partnership focused on DreamHack’s CS:GO tournaments DreamHack Masters and DreamHack Open. The partnership, which began during DreamHack Anaheim in February 2020, will run through the rest of the year, including the upcoming DreamHack Atlanta and DreamHack Winter festivals.
Online optical company Zenni locked in a partnership with the Nets Gaming Crew of the NBA 2K League. Zenni will provide athletes with its Blokz technology, which reduces eye strain by blocking blue light emitted by digital screens. Additionally, NetsGC general manager and coach Ivan Curtiss, will be teaming up with Zenni to host the “The #OG2CENTS Podcast.”
Pringles signed on as an official partner all ESL National Championship tournaments in Germany and Poland. “Over the years, the community feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Therefore, we are happy to continue our successful partnership with Pringles, spanning over multiple tournaments in 2020. We are proud that Pringles is expanding their partnership with us in these difficult times.”, says Stephan Schröder, SVP Global Brand Partnerships EMEA at ESL.
Scuf Gaming was named the official controller sponsor of Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s Wizard District Gaming and Caps Gaming. The brand also revealed two custom PlayStation 4 controllers, each bearing patterns in red, white, and blue colors and the logo of the two teams.
SPORTS BROADCAST JOURNAL w/David J. Halberstam
Costas is still quite active. If the baseball season ever begins, he’ll be doing games for MLB Network. In the interim, he’s voicing cut-ins for a 64-hour special on Derek Jeter this weekend. The longtime face of NBC Sports will then host a special for the network on great baseball voices. Bob told me this week that with the help of his wife Jill, a former television stage manager, and the use of resources shipped to him by MLBN, he was able to record 17 Jeter segments from the comfort of his home using a visual backdrop, made up of a montage of fitting photos.
There’s a silver lining to this pandemic. Lots can be done efficiently outside the studio. We’ll see what alternative means used during this health crisis will stick permanently once it’s behind us.
Halby’s Morsels: Best calls last 50 years; MLB Net keeps busy; Tales from the trenches; Hannah Storm
Writers turn broadcasters
Television and radio’s need for edgy personalities produced a windfall for newspaper men and women looking for greener pastures and larger paychecks. The top five are all ESPNers, Stephen A. Smith, Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon, Dan LeBatard and Paul Finebaum. See the top dozen:
Writers turned broadcasters: The top dozen nationally who’ve made their presence felt on-air and in print
Syracuse is considered the Harvard or Yale for sports broadcasters. Think Bob Costas, Mike Tirico, Dick Stockton or Sean McDonough. But, yes, there are biggies who attended schools other than Syracuse like Al Michaels, Joe Buck, Brent Musburger. It’s a long list:
Didn’t go to Syracuse? Over 150 sports voices went to colleges elsewhere and did just fine too
Happy Birthdays and many happy returns to these sports announcers:
P.J. Carlesimo , May 30 ESPN, Westwood One-basketball analyst
Dave Flemming, May 31 ESPN, SF Giants
Bill Schonley, June 1 Longtime, former voice-Trailblazers
Gary Gerould, June 1 Four-decade radio voice, Sacramento Kings
Steve Raible, June 2 Voice of Seattle Seahawks
Dan Hicks, June 2 NBC and Golf Channel
Heather Cox, June 3 NBC and NFL Network
Sports Broadcast Journal – home page